CALL: 2018 BLUE ECONOMY CALL 1217
Call identifier: EMFF-BLUEECONOMY-2018 Publication date: 16 October 2018
Call summary and aims
Background to the Blue Economy call
This call for proposals aims to accelerate the development and implementation of the EU Maritime Policy and the sustainable deployment of the blue economy across Europe. This general objective is further divided into specific objectives as described under each of the 3 topics that are part of this call for proposals.
Our oceans, seas and coasts are key drivers for economic development. The EU’s first annual economic report on the blue economy[[The 20 18 Annual Economic Report on EU Blue Economy: https://ec.europa.eu/maritimeaffairs/sites/maritimeaffairs/files/2018-annual-economic-report-on-blue-economy_en.pdf.]] describes the blue economy which covers a wide range of interlinked established and emerging sectors related to oceans, seas and coasts. The report discusses the current status and recent trends of established sectors – such as ports, shipbuilding, fisheries, tourism – and of innovative sectors now emerging – such as ocean energy, blue bioeconomy, desalination, coastal and environmental protection – to gain insight in the areas where new opportunities and sustainable competitive advantage may be found. In 2016 the blue economy generated € 174 billion of value added and created jobs for nearly 3.5 million people in the EU, although the report notes that these estimates could be understated for emerging sectors due to lack of data. The report also echoes the OECD´s Ocean Economy report[[OECD (2016) The Ocean Economy in 2030, OECD Publishing, Paris. http://dx.doi.org/
9789264251724-en]], which underlines that realising the full potential of the ocean will demand responsible, sustainable approaches to its economic development.
But what are the challenges or barriers and opportunities for the future development of the blue economy? What prevents the growth for the innovative emerging sectors that have a high potential for future growth?
The Commission Communication on "Innovation in the Blue Economy from 2014"[[Communication from the Commission to the European Parliament, the Council, the European Economic and Social Committee and the Committee of the Regions "Innovation in the Blue Economy: realising the potential of our seas and oceans for jobs and growth" /* COM/2014/0254 final/2 */]] identified the following key challenges of the blue economy:
- a gap between the available skills of workers and the needs of the labour market;
- diffuse research efforts in marine and maritime science hindering inter-disciplinary learning and slowing the progress of innovation;
- the existence of considerable funding gaps in scaling up promising projects from pilot to demonstration phase.
The Commission is working on overcoming such barriers through its policies and investments. Already a significant amount of funds such as those coming from Horizon 2020 and the EU's Structural and Investment Funds are earmarked for innovation in the maritime economy. Some of these initiatives seek to build bridges between the results of research on one hand and the potential investors on the other, taking innovation out of the lab and onto the market.
This call also contributes to tackling these challenges, with its 3 topic areas, aiming to support:
multi-disciplinary approaches and innovative partnerships between maritime stakeholders to drive innovation in the blue economy (Blue Labs);
- the development of blue and smart skills, fit for purpose to meet the evolving needs of the labour market in the blue economy (Blue Careers);
- innovative technologies and/or maritime services to improve their market readiness, advance towards market entry and to facilitate access to finance to blue economic players (grants in the blue economy).
Action grants under this call will build on and complement work already executed under other programmes such as the EU programmes for research and innovation FP7 and Horizon 2020, including the SME instrument, LIFE, the European Structural and Investment Funds and Erasmus+. The call takes a more targeted approach than other programmes covering marine and maritime topics, by focusing on the specificities and needs in the maritime economy and environment and in line with the EU's sea basin strategies and regional initiatives[].
- 23 October 2018 11:47 The submission session is now available for: EMFF-03-2018(EMFF-AG), EMFF-01-2018(EMFF-AG), EMFF-02-2018(EMFF-AG)
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